Ex-adviser breaches ASIC ban order

smsf adviser ban order

A former Queensland adviser has breached a seven-year ASIC ban, while another has had a conviction for dishonest conduct overturned.

A former Queensland financial adviser has been found to have breached his original seven-year Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) banning order after providing investment advice to an SMSF client.

Former financial planner Lawrence Toledo was originally banned in 2017 after failing to act in the best interest of clients while advising an SMSF be established to purchase properties.

“Despite his ban remaining in force until 5 September 2024, Mr Toledo continued to provide financial product advice and deal in financial products,” ASIC said.

Specifically, he provided financial advice to an SMSF to invest in Premier Realty Group, arranged the sale of 70,000 shares in Premier Realty Group for $70,000 to the SMSF and arranged a second sale of 14,000 additional shares in Premier Realty Group, valued at $14,000, to the same SMSF.

Toledo has been convicted and fined $1500 after pleading guilty in the Brisbane Magistrates Court to three charges of breaching the ASIC banning order.

In a separate legal proceeding, the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Queensland has ordered a retrial for former Mount Gravatt East-based financial adviser and Growth Plus Financial Group director Ben Jayweera, who was previously convicted in October 2019.

ASIC alleged Jayaweera induced investors through his company to transfer funds, including from SMSFs, to invest in an unregistered managed investment scheme. The former Queensland adviser was convicted of six counts of dishonesty that caused pecuniary detriment of $5.9 million to his clients, resulting in a sentence of 12 years’ imprisonment.

The appeal and retrial were allowed on the grounds that deficiencies in the trial judge’s directions to the jury resulted in a miscarriage of justice and all six counts and the conviction have been set aside.

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